Goose Management Program

Oakville is severely impacted by a large population of Canada geese. If left unchecked, the goose population can double in size every three years.

Town staff are employing an overall goose management program to control the population of resident geese. Egg removal, turf sweeping and habitat modification are other programs designed to deal with the overpopulation of Canada geese along Oakville's waterfront.

Operating under a permit from the Canadian Wildlife Service, town crews round up and relocate approximately 1,000 geese every June to a wildlife sanctuary.

Egg removal program

The egg removal program is an annual program undertaken by the Parks and Open Space department. It concentrates on nests located along the Lake Ontario shoreline, in Oakville and Bronte Harbours, and along the Sixteen Mile, Fourteen Mile and Twelve Mile creeks and ponds. Egg removal encourages the geese to abandon their nesting sites in search of suitable habitats for moulting. The eggs are humanely disposed of as per guidelines from the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS).

While many nests are located on the shoreline and in our public spaces, geese can also nest on your property. If you have observed nests on your property in the past and would like to participate in the egg removal program, please contact Service Oakville, and please note that the town requires permission to enter your property.

Goose nest facts

Here are some things to be aware of when you are looking for Canade geese nesting sites on your property:

  • The onset of nesting activity usually begins in early April
  • Typically, Canada geese return to their natal site to breed (probably the site at which they learned to fly). A pair will likely nest in the same spot every year.
  • A strong base and good visibility are nest site requirements, as well as a safe place to raise broods (usually open water) and ample nearby forage.
  • Canada geese usually build their nests on the ground in low vegetation near open water. Preferred nesting sites include small islands in ponds and along the banks of bodies of water. Beaver houses or the nests of other birds such as ospreys, hawks, owls and herons are also sometimes used. Nests are constructed of grass, twigs, bark, leaves and moss, with diameters ranging from 37 to 110 centimetres (15 to 44 inches).
  • Males are very protective of their nests. A male that hisses and beats his wings when you approach may be protecting a nest.

Geese are attracted to mown lawns that stretch down to the water. To deter them, allow native vegetation, including longer grasses, to grow at the water’s edge. Feeding waterfowl contravenes the town’s By-law 2013-013.

To learn more about Canada geese, review our Living with Canada geese fact sheet (pdf).

For more information contact ServiceOakville

tel: 905-845-6601
TTY: 905-338-4200